Joly urges Israel to ‘take the win,’ not escalate after Iran’s attack

Click to play video: 'Joly urges Israel to ‘take the win’ and not escalate following Iran’s attack'
Joly urges Israel to ‘take the win’ and not escalate following Iran’s attack
WATCH: Joly urges Israel to 'take the win' and not escalate following Iran's attack – Apr 15, 2024

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said Monday she urged her Israeli counterpart to “please take the win” and refrain from further escalation after Iran’s mass drone and missile attack on Israel over the weekend.

Nearly all of the hundreds of missiles and drones launched by Iran toward Israel on Saturday were intercepted, according to the White House and an Israeli military spokesperson, resulting in minimal damage. Israel’s military chief of staff has said the country would respond to the Iranian attack, but the form that response will take was not yet clear Monday as Israel’s war cabinet convened to discuss Iran’s actions.

Fears of further escalation in the region have prompted several airlines to halt their flights amid security concerns.

Joly told reporters in Ottawa that while Canada and its allies support Israel’s right to defend itself, they are also “clearly pushing for a de-escalation.”

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“That is why I have been clear to my counterpart in Israel, please take the win and make sure we can work together to bring back peace to the region,” she said.

Click to play video: 'Biden cautions Netanyahu to exercise restraint after Iran’s attack on Israel'
Biden cautions Netanyahu to exercise restraint after Iran’s attack on Israel

Leaders and officials around the world on Monday made similar appeals to Israel to not respond in kind to Iran’s attack, with many also pointing out that it was largely repelled.

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White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said U.S. President Joe Biden praised the preparations and actions taken by Israeli, U.S. and coalition forces in repelling the attack in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday night, calling it “an extraordinary success.”

“The president urged the prime minister to think about what that success says all by itself to the rest of the region,” Kirby said.

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Similarly, while speaking to reporters in Shanghai, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned Israel’s success of preventing wide-scale destruction and death “perhaps also should not be thrown away — hence also our advice to contribute to de-escalation themselves.”

Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, as well as French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made similar appeals. The United Nations and even the Russian government have also issued calls for restraint.

The French foreign ministry said France was working with its partners to de-escalate the situation.

In a video statement posted to social media Monday, Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, chief of general staff of the Israel Defence Forces, said the IDF remains “at our highest level of readiness” and continues to assess the aftermath of Iran’s attack and Israel’s potential response.

“Iran will face the consequences for its actions,” he said. “We will choose our response accordingly.”

Click to play video: 'Israel weighs how to react to Iran’s drone, missile attacks'
Israel weighs how to react to Iran’s drone, missile attacks

Iran mounted the attack in response to a suspected Israeli airstrike on its embassy compound in Syria on April 1 that killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers, including two senior commanders.

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Israel and its most prominent backers, including Jewish advocacy groups in Canada and the G7, have called Iran’s attack “unjustified.”

The Iranian attack marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of animosity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

A military retaliation by Israel on Iran would likely spark a larger war in the Middle East, which is already a region on edge as Israel continues its military campaign in Gaza in response to Hamas’ attacks on Israel on Oct. 7.

Speaking to Global News in an interview before Saturday’s attack that aired Sunday on The West Block, former Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett said Iran should “directly pay the price” in its capital of Tehran in the event of an Iranian attack on Israel.

—With files from Reuters and the Associated Press

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